Plastic bags at a Long Island supermarket

Plastic bags at a Long Island supermarket Credit: Newsday / Jim Peppler

The opinion piece, "Pennies at a time can save our parks" [Feb. 25] missed the mark. Adopting a ban or meaningful fee of at least five cents on plastic bags is proven to compel the public to switch to reusable bags. A one-cent fee would do nothing to reduce harmful plastic bag use and could actually increase plastic bag pollution by excusing this wasteful practice as a means to generate money for our parks.

Westport, Conn., successfully banned plastic bags two years ago. Washington, D.C., implemented a five-cent fee in 2010 and the city experienced a 70 percent reduction in plastic bag use. Plastic bags litter our parks, roadways, beaches and neighborhoods. They kill thousands of marine mammals each year who mistakenly ingest the bags thinking they are a food source, only to slowly suffocate to death.

Advocating plastic bag use to promote our parks is akin to selling candy bars to end childhood obesity. Our parks are precious to us all and surely we can do better.

Adrienne Esposito, Farmingdale

Editor's note: The writer is executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

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